Infidelity Recovery: What is it with Men?
By Dr. Robert Huizenga
I’ve worked intensively with hundreds of couples over the past 25 years and, of course, you will not be surprised to know that more women than men are “open” to marital therapy during infidelity recovery and talking about relationships in general.
Most men reluctantly enter the realm only if they “have to.” Their marital world usually needs to be in dire straits before they give their assent.
Here are some observations about this phenomenon:
1. Men think they are inadequate when it comes to expressing feelings or inner thoughts. And, they assume this is what marital therapy during infidelity recovery is all about. They perceive the woman as the expert in this realm and they assume that they will be in the “one-down” situation when it comes to working on the relationship. And, of course, no man wants to be one-down.
2. Men usually internalize. That is, they work through, or think through, a situation or problem. No one may know what is happening between their ears. Men usually do not have a need to “talk out” a problem or situation. And, of course, working on a relationship during infidelity recovery is about “talking it out.” At least that is what grocery store magazines and talk show hosts say.
3. Men are sensible problem solvers. They outline the problem, have a look at solutions and implement the solution. And, if that didn’t work, attempt another solution. Wooo-hooo psycho-babble may be a foreign world and they do not wish something to do with it.
I am extremely being a little unfair to men here. Men, don’t be too upset. I generally create strong statements to make a point.
Some women, I notice, share these traits as well. Really, it may be that more and a lot of women share a number of these characteristics. It’s not continually gender.
I conclude that the important issue here isn’t one among gender, but that of being in a polarized relationship. By that I mean, one person internalizes more and the other person has additional of a would like to externalize or “talk it through,” which makes it more difficult for infidelity recovery.
The externalizer sees great value in self facilitate books, perhaps therapy, and finds materials that can help him/her talk concerning and work on the relationship.
The other partner thinks, “Oh no, do I’ve got to?” And, solely if his/her emotional or relational equilibrium is extremely threatened will he/she journey into this territory. If he/she does, it’s only to the degree that the partner is appeased or he/she will be able to find a fast and graceful approach out.
A starting point for a “polarized” couple is to acknowledge the phenomenon. Polarization should be addressed before a pair will effectively repair or reconstruct the relationship in infidelity recovery.